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Foreign Aid Reform: Studies and Recommendations

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Congressional rept.

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Both the 111th Congress and the Obama Administration have expressed interest in foreign aid reform and are looking at ways to improve and strengthen the U.S. Agency for International Development USAID, coordination among implementing agencies, and monitoring the effectiveness of aid activities. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the role of foreign assistance as a tool of U.S. foreign policy has come into sharper focus. President George W. Bush elevated global development as a third pillar of national security, with defense and diplomacy, as articulated in the U.S. National Security Strategy of 2002, and reiterated in 2006. In January 2006, Secretary of State Rice announced the transformational development initiative to bring coordination and coherence to U.S. aid programs. She created a new Bureau of Foreign Assistance F Bureau, led by the Director of Foreign Assistance DFA, who also serves as Administrator of USAID. F Bureau developed a Strategic Framework for Foreign Assistance to align aid programs with strategic objectives. The Framework became a guiding force in the FY2008 and FY2009 budgets, as well as the FY2010 budget request. In recent years, numerous studies have addressed various concerns and provided recommendations regarding U.S. foreign aid policy, funding, and structure. Views range from general approval of the F process as a first step toward better coordination of aid programs and the need to build on it, to strong criticism of the creation of the F Bureau, its inadequacy in coordinating or reforming much of what is wrong with foreign aid, and the need to replace it with a cabinet-level department of foreign aid. This report is a review of selected studies on foreign aid reform written between 2001 and 2008. Key recommendations from these studies are the focus of the report. Summaries of the reports are included. The report will not be updated.

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  • Government and Political Science

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